Philip Chiyangwa

Cosafa confirms dates for regional competitions

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THE Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) has announced that the annual Cosafa Castle Cup will be played in South Africaa��s North West province from June 25 to July 9.

The regional Under-20 competition will be staged from December 1-10. Mauritius will host the Cosafa Under-17 Championship from July 21-30, while the Cosafa Womena��s Championship is set to be staged in Zimbabwe from September 13-24.

According to Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa, eight Southern African countries have confirmed participation in the Cosafa Womena��s Championship.

Cosafa has 14 member countries and the tournament makes a return after a five-year absence.

The fifth edition of the Cosafa Womena��s Championship will be held in Bulawayo alone in the event that fewer teams take part. But if all the 14 countries or slightly less make the trip to Zimbabwe then Bulawayo and another city, most likely Gweru, will co-host the tournament.

Meanwhile, Chiyangwa who is also the Cosafa president has said the regional associationA� will take an aggressive stance to promote interests of the organisation and its members, including challenging decisions made by the previous regime in charge of the Confederation of African Football (Caf),.

Chiyangwa said Cosafa would be looking at how its members would best benefit from Fifaa��s recent decision to give Africa nine places at the World Cup from 2026 onwards and to be better represented in Cafa�?s committees and competitions.

He also sounded a strong warning over the contentious decision made several years ago to award the hosting of three successive Nations Cup finals to West African countries.

a�?These were politically, aggressively awarded wherein one region benefits from all competitions,a�? he said in reference to the 2019 finals in Cameroon, 2021 in the Ivory Coast and 2023 in Guinea.

a�?This is our continent and our Africa and we have the right to ask questions and where we feel that we have been abused, we just have to do what we did. In these circumstances we are questioning the status quo; the locating of all interests in one region. Cosafa will launch a protest on some competitions that were previously awarded. There must be a commission of inquiry appointed. What wasA� the criteria used?a�? quizzed Chiyangwa.

Last Friday, Cosafa hosted newly elected Caf president, Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar, who was meeting his Southern African colleagues for the first time since his historic election to the Caf presidency on 16 March.